Don't spend more than 50 bucks on a ceramic rod, I agree to buy stones with the leftover cash
The Shun steels have a angled guard,so if you put the tip on the table you can get the "right angle" to steel your knife.IMO these steels as Dave would say belong in the rubbish can.
I like smooth ceramics better for harder J- Gyuto's.There are good ceramics under 50.00 as mentioned on this thread.I know I sound like a broken record but there is no better way to sharpen a kitchen knife than developing some freehand skills on a whetstone.
A ceramic is good in a pinch when you're working a busy line/prep shift. Strops involve some cleaning/space. But at home? Get/build a strop. Just wrapping a couple layers of newspaper tightly around a 2x4 works.
The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky
I like the MAC and the Idahone. Use both when needed.
I'm working on a strop condition lol but for now have a Mac black. Since this has moved to Mac vs idahone, is there a preference? Sorry may be off a little but you have to watch shun steels and ceramics. I know steels are china mass produced and not the same quality. Yes they have that angle deal bit it's right next to the motorized sharpeners that claim the same perfect blah blah.
Keep your love outta my sauce.
The MAC has a steel core, so is more durable. I have an Idahone which I've been happy with, although I tend to strop more now.
I used to use the Mac a lot and still have it in my kit. Works great in a pinch and is a great item of "convenience". Since I started using more single beveled stuff I started using a loaded balsa wood strop for the most part. Beyond that I've also brought a Gesshin 6000 sng if anything needs a touch up and a king 1000 for maintenance sharpening.
Starting this harvest I'm a starving startling artist/
Lyrical arsonist it's arduous spitting this smartest arsenic/
Both are excellent hones but the Mac cost close to twice the Idahone.
"Those who say it can't be done are always pasted by those doing it"